owns County Head Start/Pre-K Program is a high quality early childhood program that is accredited by NAEYC and Day Care licensed. This program provides a safe, nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. Their goal is to provide children with an environment that is conducive to learning and encourages curiosity, exploration, problem solving and self-expression and assists children in developing a positive self-image. Towns County Head Start is located on the Towns County Comprehensive School grounds on Hwy. 76 East in Hiawassee. For more information, contact (706) 896-4272.
Towns County Comprehensive School is a nationally acclaimed community school housing kindergarten through high school. Aside from the scenic and peaceful atmosphere, TCCS enjoys a crime-free environment and very few discipline problems, a fact that contributes to a high-quality education. Stanford 9 scores are repeatedly among the highest in the state and above the national average. The percentage of graduates continuing their education is 90% and above. TCCS was recently recognized as a National Model School by the Jostens Learning Corporation for effective use of technologically enhanced learning. Towns County Middle School has been recognized several times in the past for its effective implementation of innovative education initiatives. TIME magazine named Towns County Middle School as runner-up for Middle School of the Year in 2001, and was commended for its successful use of technology in and outside of the classroom. The Middle School also received the Effective Program Award 2002 awarded by the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals. The Outstanding Educator of the Year was presented to TCCS Middle School Principal, Mr. Stephen Smith in 2002. Dr. Roy Parron is the new principal for the 2004-2005 school year.
The success of Towns County High School graduates can be attributed to the enormous amount of support the community exhibits for its students and programs at the school. The Towns County Community has high expectations for all students, including but not limited to high achievement and effective classroom instruction from the teachers. Towns County High School students continue to score in the top 5 percent on state graduation tests, with overall students scores increasing with each graduating class.
With approximately 306 students in grades 9 through 12, the high school offers a wide range of options for its students. TCHS students may select from either two programs of study, which include a college preparation program and a technology/career preparatory program. Students who plan to attend college may take advanced level courses on campus, which include AP classes in English and Mathematics, or they may enroll in classes at Young Harris College through the Post-Secondary Options program (PSP), which is a state approved program for advanced level students. Those students who participate in the PSP program earn both high school and college course credit toward graduation.
Construction has been completed on the schools. Dr. Marion Sumner is the principal of Towns County Middle School and Dr. Roy Parron is the principal of the Towns County High School.
Mountain Area Christian Academy located 30 miles west of Young Harris in Morganton, GA, is a non-denominational, non-church affiliated, co-educational day school including Pre-K through high school. Their student body is comprised of children without distinction to race, religious creed, or socio-economic status. Mountain Area Christian Academy is affiliated with the Association of Christian Schools International, the largest Christian School organization in the world. The Administrators, Howell and Jane Teasley, have been in this position with the school since its founding in 2000. Beginning with 40 students, the school presently has 115 students in grades Preschool 3 through the 10 th grade. The school will add the eleventh grade in 2003-2004, and complete the additions with the twelfth grade in 2004-2005. Our mission at Mountain Area Christian Academy is to glorify God by providing an education program that is Christ centered and Biblically based, academically excellent, and focused on equipping and encouraging our students to obediently fulfill Gods purpose for their lives. Please contact (706) 374-6222 or www.moutainareachristianacademy.org .
Locally, there are two institutions that provide higher learning. Young Harris College located in Towns County in beautiful downtown Young Harris, is a two-year liberal arts college. Young Harris was founded in 1866 through the efforts of a circuit-riding Methodist minister. The financial contributions of Judge Young L. G. Harris of Athens enabled the school (originally named McTyeire Institute) to survive its early years, and its name was changed to honor its greatest benefactor.
From its beginning Young Harris was more than just a school for young men and women of the mountains. It was, and is, an institution striving to educate the total person by blending of mind, body, and spirit. Later the small town of McTyeire where the college was located was also changed to Young Harris by an act of the Georgia legislature.
Today students are drawn from over 100 counties in Georgia, from the southeast, and from foreign countries. Its graduates include Senator Zell Miller (also former Governor of Georgia); former Commissioner of Industry and Trade, George Berry; the Georgia poet, Byron Herbert Reece, and others. The broad-based, basic curriculum enables graduates to continue on to bachelors degrees and beyond. Extracurricular and athletic activities round out the educational experience of the 550 students. www.yhc.edu
Just 10 miles west of Towns County in Blairsville is the newly built North Georgia Technical College that offers Associates Degrees and advanced career training in over 40 career programs such as allied health, business/computer technology, hotel/restaurant/travel management, and industrial technology. Three types of programs of study are available diploma, technical certificates of credit, and associate degree. The 48,000-square foot complex incorporates the latest technology in every program and offers state-of-the-art classroom, labs, and meeting facilities. Classes are offered day and night or classes may be taken via Internet.
There are a number of support resources available to students at North Georgia Tech. A Career Discovery Center is offered through NGTC to help with career placement, resume preparation, career exploration, and more. Financial aid is available for qualified applicants (HOPE Grant, HOPE Scholarship, Pell Grant, and other scholarships). Support services are also offered for single parents, displaced homemakers, non-traditional students, non-custodial parents, and students with special needs. North Georgia Tech is located on Hwy. 515 just west of Blairsville. www.ngtcollege.org